The UK’s foreign aid budget is set to soar over the next two years thanks to new European Union accounting rules. An extra £1 billion will have to be found to ensure international assistance falls within guide lines due to be enforced by Brussels.
The Department for International Development (Dfid) is revamping its fiscal projections in order to bring Britain in line with other EU countries, making it harder to meet the controversial aid target in the next parliament, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The UK already is the second largest aid donor in the world and spends more on international agencies than any other country.
The Telegraph reported that government figures released on Thursday show that Britain met last year’s aid spending target of 0.7 per cent of GDP, totalling £11.7 billion. They showed that most of the extra cash had gone to international aid agencies rather than projects run by the British government on the ground.
The Dfid insisted that the rules would not apply to aid until 2016 at the earliest, according to the Telegraph. Informed sources told the paper that when they come in by the next government it would lead to a sharp rise in aid spending.
One aid expert suggested that the increase would be at least £1 billion across 2016 and 2017.